SP leader terms execution a clear case of political expediency

Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Abu Azmi on Monday said the execution of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru was a clear case of political expediency.

If the Congress-led UPA government could hang Afzal Guru, then why were the killers of the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, still cheating the hangman, he asked.

Speaking to reporters, the SP leader said the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party coalition and the Sangh Parivar and its affiliates were two sides of the same coin.

“At least Afzal Guru’s family should have been informed well ahead of the execution,” said Mr. Azmi. Guru was executed on Saturday in New Delhi’s Tihar jail. The SP leader, however, said his party would still go along with the Congress as there was no viable third alternative.

“Why no action against Togadia?”

He said Muslims were discriminated against as proved by the punishment given for hate speeches by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator Owaisi and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia.

“The MIM legislator’s anti-Hindu speech is utterly contemptible and he has been put behind bars. But no similar action has been forthcoming in the case of Dr. Togadia and I’m quite sure that he [Dr. Togadia] will never see the inside of a jail,” he said. Mr. Azmi urged Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to ban the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh just as it did the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). “The Home Minister has already spoken of ‘saffron terror.’ He should act upon his statements. If he doesn’t, then it becomes a clear case of short-term politics — putting down the BJP and using the minority vote bank,” the SP leader said.